History of Democracy and Education (and how British colonialism dismantled it)

This article is about the history of democratic culture in India and how it has shaped our present system of education and therefore our lives. It talks about how traditional education system before and during the time of the East India Company, how the school system changed during British rule with the introduction of the English language and its far …

The Vijayanagara Empire

The Vijayanagara kingdom was founded by Harihara and Bukka of the Sangama dynasty in 1336. At the instance of their guru Vidyaranya, they established their kingdom with its capital at Vijayanagar. Harihara became the first ruler, and by 1346 the whole of Hoysala kingdom passed into the hands of the Vijayanagara rulers. Bukka succeeded his brother on the throne of …

Traditional Knowledge Systems

It is now recognized that western criteria are not the sole benchmark by which other cultural knowledge should be evaluated. While the term ‘traditional’ sometimes carries the connotation of ‘pre-modern’ in the sense of ‘primitive’ or ‘outdated’, many of the traditional sciences and technologies were in fact quite advanced even by western standards as well as better adapted to unique …

Notes on Varna System

Two great Rishis of ancient India once met to plan the structure a stable society. Rishi Brigu recognized that there were four sources of power in a society and suggested that no single person or group of people should control more than one of each. The four sources are 1. Knowledge, 2. Weapons, 3. Wealth, 4. Land.  Therefore those who …

The Mango Orchard

After nearly a decade of traveling across distant lands, it was time to get grounded and invest in good old real estate. But the whole idea of buying a flat in a city sky rise never quite appealed to me. Basically I was looking for a place to kick back and escape the dullness of concrete buildings and machines. So …

The Population Myth

India’s massive population has been a subject in many a joke and a cause of embarrassment to Indians around the world. At world economic summits, UN conventions and foreign investment conferences, the Indian government is seen making apologies about its population control programs and the associated environmental impact. Indeed India’s population exerts enormous pressure on the land and finite resources …

A Brief History Of Bullshit

“The Cow” was an unanticipated subject of one of my junior school essays. But since I had only memorized stuff about trees, all I had to do was make the connection – “The cow is tied to a coconut tree..” and then went about describing how long coconut trees were and how great the fruit was. Although I remember basking …

India’s Gold

It was not until the US economic recession of 2008-2009, that monetary policy, capital flows and stock markets sparked my interest. I had always assumed that the brilliant minds on Wall Street and other financial capitals around the world were doing the “right thing”. Unfortunately, prized MBAs from top business schools and competitive salaries did very little to check their …

Community Seed Banks

Modern methods of industrial farming and the foray of multinational companies into India have threatened our traditional seed stocks. Though indigenous varieties are still preserved by a few farmers, they are getting depleted at an alarming rate. Self reliance on food and adaptability to climate change is critical for an agricultural country like India, which makes this is a major …